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Staff voice - A guide to walking in El Cocal (a response to Jalova's "guide to walking in the rainforest")

By 4 years ago
Categories Jalova

Written by Nick Herrick – GVI Manuel Antonio Programs Manager

If you are reading this there is a good chance you saw the brilliant recent blog from one of our Jalova interns. If not then scroll further down and check it out. It’s well worth a read. It gave me an idea of some things that people coming to the Manuel Antonio projects might need to know. We may not have treacherous mud, squawking frogs or Sungrebes, but we have our fair share of challenges. Here are my top ten hints for getting by in the Costa Rica community project loosely based on those from Jalova.

  1. Some of the kids can be very muddy after a lot of rain! Always handle with love and care but be ready to get mud, glue, glitter and a variety of other things on you.
  2. Short legs can be a hazard. They usually mean you are closer to child level and that can mean any number of things but most usually having someone jump on your back even after the first few times of prying them off.
  3. On the other hand short legs can make it much easier to get to child level when playing with them, tickling them or helping with complicated schoolwork.
  4.  Be ready to have the people sneak their way into your heart. They will, and once there, they aren’t leaving.
  5.  Always mind your head when walking through the community. There is a risk from falling coconuts, paper aeroplanes and any number of stationary items being passed across the classroom.
  6. Don’t let anyone in the community lick you. It’s weird. Also don’t lick anyone in the community. That’s probably more weird.
  7. If you start playing with the slack line the kids may never allow you to stop. Beware of “la linga”.
  8. If it sounds like a girl screaming it’s probably either Jefferson or Jerickson, two brothers who can get a little overexcited at times. In fairness to them neither sound much like girls at other times or look like girls.
  9. Be ready to hear a lot of people talking to you. Locals are very friendly and always ready with a greeting or asking how you are, even if you haven’t met.
  10. Be careful when asking if there is anything you can do for someone. Chances are you will find yourself involved in something challenging, fun and fulfilling. But that’s why you came right?!